Meet Tariq Saeed, the man keeping Urdu cricket commentary alive

Saeed stopped playing cricket after he was hit by a ball just above his right eye, the scar is visible.

At a time when the regional languages are dying, an ex-Pakistani cricketer Tariq Saeed who is commentating in the Urdu language is gaining popularity.

Tariq Saeed, a 45-year-old man, resident of Montgomery (Sahiwal District) stopped playing cricket after he was hit by a ball just above his right eye. His dream was to represent Pakistan but the accident changed his life remarkably. The scar above his eye still bears proof to his injury.

Saeed used to play cricket for his college in Lahore. He was always clever with his use of words. After the incident, he quit the game and started commentating in college, and later got selected for a Pakistani radio for commenting.

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Saeed’s friends convinced him to start commentating on Pakistan radio as they know that he had the skill of balancing his words.

Saeed has also reported for the local Urdu newspaper and a Deutsche correspondent in Pakistan. Aside from cricket, he has also done commentary for hockey matches, and the Kabbadi world cup final between Indian and Pakistan.

Tariq Saeed speaking to Al-Jazeera said commentators also need to look after their mind and body, most importantly their throat which provides them bread and butter.

“During a busy season, I don’t drink cold water or fizzy drinks. No ice cream for me either. On match days, I drink tea before every spell. I gargle with hot water frequently. You need to look after your throat and make sure you don’t eat anything sour or greasy,” he added.

“I also make sure I don’t eat a lot during commentary because that makes me sleepy which is never a good thing when you’re on mic. You need to be fully focused and concentrate on what’s happening in the middle. If you miss a ball or related events from previous overs, it becomes difficult as the match progresses.” he further said.

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